Swingtown: How I learned to respect CBS again | Central Arkansas Confidential

Monday, June 16, 2008

Swingtown: How I learned to respect CBS again

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Ummm, so in the Times and other places I'm hearing about people furiously writing their CBS affiliates over Swingtown, CBS, 9PM CDT on Thursdays.  Basic premise, it's 1976, there's three couples, and the show revolves around their lives during that time.

Now first of all, apparently, I wasn't born then, but apparently the "swingers" lifestyle was in one of it's heydays or whatever, so the first episode is about the main couple and their family moving to a wealthier section of town, leaving behind their middle class friends and meeting some new, wealthier, hipper friends in their new neighborhood, and with the help of some liqour and qualudes, badda bing, they have a little foursome.  Racey huh?  Crazy for network television?  Right?  What about our youth?

Please.  First of all, have you watched any of the shows on MTV, VH1, CW, FOX, ABC, NBC, AETN?  I'm sorry, but the Andy Griffith days are gone Arkansas, you better only program that VChip for Nick at Night and VTN.  I mean this stuff happens on lots of shows, with lots younger people, and with more graphic scenes than Swingtown ever thought of.

I watched the first episode because I wanted to see how this show that sounds like it should be on HBO or something was going to work without the "money shots" you know?  Then about 20 minutes into it I realized, 1.  there's going to be no nudity (well, a shirtless guy or two, you got me if that's making you divert your eyes, have fun on your west Texas ranch).  2.  They haven't said F U C K or anything else remotely harsh and 3.  I haven't been this uncomfortable, in a good way, with a television show in a long time.  You are like, wait, are they going to?  They just moved in there... wait what is going on with... crazy woman in the mansion?  And then you are counting down the days to week two.  It's just well written, well shot and they have completely committed to the 70's and the feel of that time.  The cast is great, the stories are compelling and the setting is one that hasn't been really used in a show in 10 years, I mean That 70's show was a spoof of the 70's, this is using the time period as the habitat and not trying to make it anything more or less.  Episode 2 was worth it just for the disco dancing at the Playboy club. 

I don't know what is wrong with the bible belt, I mean Grey's Anatomy is fine because what?  They're doctors hopping from bed to bed and walking around in nothing but a towel over their junk?  That's fine?  Or any show on MTV where "real" people are running around naked, binge drinking, tight walking the line between heavy petting and assault or 16 year olds are drinking out of solo cups and planning on how to spend 100K on a party - that's cool for your kids to watch.  Not mention what can be found online or DVD.  I mean if you want to attack something, attack something that doesn't have substance, or some heart, or a sense of humor about itself.  Good Lord, the History Channel was showing severed hands the other night.  It's 2008, quit acting like its the network's responsibility to keep you shielded in some nice little egg where no one does it with the lights on and babies are brought by storks.

I recommend Swingtown to anyone looking for a great summer show.  I wouldn't watch it with my little kids, but that's why it's on at freakin 9PM people, they should be in bed.  The show is adults.  If you think Swingtown is bad, please VCHIP FX immediately, you'll have a stroke.

mad luv, mr. rickey

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